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Toshiba 8-Megapixel CMOS Image Sensor Enables High-Speed, Low-Power HD Video Recording for Smartphones and Tablets

August 11, 2014

Newest addition to 1.12-micron CIS product series suited for HD high-frame-rate image capture and ultra-low-power operation


SAN JOSE, Calif., — Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC)*, a committed leader that collaborates with technology companies to create breakthrough designs, today rolled out the latest addition to its 1.12-micron back-side illuminated CMOS image sensor (CIS) solutions that enable high-performance image capture and video recording for handheld mobile devices. The T4KA3 8-megapixel (MP) sensor targets midrange smartphones, tablets and action cameras with 720p resolution, enabling HD video capture at an industry-high1 rate of 240 equivalent frames per second (fps).

The T4KA3 operates at 15 percent lower power and is significantly smaller in area than Toshiba's prior 8MP sensor, making it one of the world's smallest chips at this pixel count and enabling the development of a smaller camera module. In addition, the new product incorporates Toshiba Bright Mode technology, which boosts image brightness by up to 4x. It's this capability that enables users to continuously record and smoothly play back video on their handheld devices at an fps rate twice that achievable without Bright Mode.

"In emerging markets, the camera is the most prioritized feature for smartphone owners. The T4KA3 was created to meet this demand, while aiding designers in continuing to develop slimmer products that consume less power," said Andrew Burt, vice president of the Image Sensor Business Unit, System LSI Group at TAEC. "Customers in every global region continue to demand high-quality image and video capture and playback, and Toshiba's 1.12-micron CIS lineup is designed to hit the sweet spot for a full range of high-volume handheld mobile products."

Another key feature of the T4KA3 is High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. While non-HDR cameras take pictures at one exposure level with limited contrast range, losing detail in bright or dark areas of a picture, HDR takes multiple pictures at different exposure levels and intelligently stitches them together. The result is a picture with better image quality and brighter, more natural looking colors . Toshiba's alternate-row, dual-exposure HDR also reduces motion artifacts and eliminates frame buffer requirements without compromising frame resolution or speed.

Optical format of the T4KA3 is 1/4 inch, and pixel count is 3280 (H) x 2464 (V). The sensor has 8Kbit one-time-programmable (OTP) memory for automatically storing two settings of lens shading correction data, and the setting can quickly changed with a single command to accommodate changing light conditions.

The first product in the series, the 13MP T4K82, was announced earlier this year. It also features both Bright Mode and HDR technology, and enables 240 fps HD video capture for higher-end mobile devices with 1080p resolution.

Pricing and Availability

Sample shipments of the T4KA3 CMOS image sensor are under way, with samples priced at just under US$12 (1,200 Yen). Mass production is scheduled to begin in April 2015.

*About TAEC

Through proven commitment, lasting relationships and advanced, reliable electronic components, Toshiba enables its customers to create market-leading designs. Toshiba is the heartbeat within product breakthroughs from OEMs, ODMs, CMs, VARs, distributors and fabless chip companies worldwide. A committed electronic components leader, Toshiba designs and manufactures high-quality flash memory-based storage solutions, solid state drives (SSDs), hard disk drives (HDDs), solid state hybrid drives (SSHDs), discrete devices, custom SoCs/ASICs, imaging products, microcontrollers, wireless components, mobile peripheral devices, advanced materials and medical tubes that make possible today’s leading smartphones, tablets, cameras, medical devices, automotive electronics, industrial applications, enterprise solutions and more.

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, Japan's largest semiconductor manufacturer and the world's sixth largest semiconductor manufacturer (Gartner, 2013 Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue, April 2014). Founded in Tokyo in 1875, Toshiba is at the heart of a global network of over 590 consolidated companies employing over 200,000 people worldwide. Visit Toshiba's web site at

1 Research by Toshiba as of August 1, 2014.

Information in this press release, including product pricing and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current and believed to be accurate on the date of the announcement, but is subject to change without prior notice.

ASSP 14 718

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